By Richard Clarke
Robin van Persie could not recall the last time Arsenal faced a side managed by Steve McClaren.
Speaking in the bowels of the Amsterdam ArenA at the weekend, the Dutch striker was already looking forward to Wednesday's crucial Champions League tie against Twente. But he just could not recollect Middlesbrough's famous 7-0 hammering at Highbury in January 2006
"No, really?" he said when the answer was revealed. "We won 7-0?
"Oh yeah I do remember that game but normally we had a tough time against his sides."
That memory lapse is probably down to the fact Van Persie did not play that day. There were five different scorers including the inevitable hat-trick for Thierry Henry. On Wednesday, Van Persie will be the main threat and he argues that, despite his battered reputation in England, McClaren is already proving a success at Twente.
"They are really happy with him because it was quite a strange move to come from being England manager to Twente manager," said Van Persie. "But Holland is very proud, especially Twente, and they are all saying they really like his style of coaching."
That reputation is in stark contrast to the one left behind in England where he was pilloried for failing to take the national team to Euro 2008.
"I think that [comes with the territory]," said Van Persie. "If you don't qualify [for a major tournament] as the national team manager you have some critical people waiting for you. This is what happened with Louis van Gaal, he was a top manager but he didn't qualify [with Holland] in 2002. They lost against Ireland that year, so that's the risk of the job."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source